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PHIL 105W: Shame, in Antiquity & Today (PHIL 205W)

What is the moral significance of shame? Is our sense of shame an important safeguard against our otherwise selfish impulses, or a childish aversion to social disapproval? Are our feelings of shame concerned with who we really are as people, or merely with how we appear to others? Is the shaming of others ever justified, and if so, when? Is shame a universal human experience, or does its nature and significance vary across cultures and time? This course is an investigation into these and related questions, about the nature of shame and its role in our moral psychology and ethical lives. Readings will include classic ancient Greek works by Plato, Homer, and Sophocles; modern scholarship on those ancient sources; and contemporary ethical discussions of shame. No background in ancient Greek or contemporary moral philosophy is required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Costello, W. (PI)

PHIL 127: Kant's Ethics (PHIL 227)

A study of Kant¿s ethical thought, focusing on The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, The Critique of Practical Reason, and The Metaphysics of Morals. Prerequisite: Phil. 2, Phil. 170, or equivalent (consult the instructor). Designed for undergraduate department majors and graduate students.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

PHIL 127A: Kant's Value Theory (PHIL 227A)

(Graduate students register for 227A.) The role of autonomy, principled rational self-governance, in Kant's account of the norms to which human beings are answerable as moral agents, citizens, empirical inquirers, and religious believers. Relations between moral values (goodness, rightness) and aesthetic values (beauty, sublimity).
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 135: Existentialism (PHIL 235)

Focus is on the existentialist preoccupation with human freedom. What constitutes authentic individuality? What is one's relation to the divine? How can one live a meaningful life? What is the significance of death? A rethinking of the traditional problem of freedom and determinism in readings from Rousseau, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, and the extension of these ideas by Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus, including their social and political consequences in light of 20th-century fascism and feminism.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER

PHIL 170: Ethical Theory (ETHICSOC 170, PHIL 270)

How should we live our lives? Should you love your neighbour as yourself? Should you be digging wells rather than taking philosophy classes? Is taxation just? What obligations do we have to the not-yet-born, and to the dead? And says who? Are there really any answers to these questions? If so, what explains why they are one way rather than another? The will of God? Perhaps we need rules to ensure mutual benefits. But then, can I break them if no-one will find out? Can it be appropriate to blame you for doing something that you thought was the right thing to do (perhaps rejecting a blood transfusion)? Or to praise you for doing something you thought was the wrong thing to do (like Huck Finn)? By the end of this semester, you will be developing answers to these questions and many more.nnA more challenging version of Phil 2 designed primarily for juniors and seniors (may also be appropriate for some freshmen and sophomores - contact professor). Fulfills the Ethical Reasoning requirement. Graduate section (270) will include supplemental readings and discussion, geared for graduate students new to moral philosophy, as well as those with some background who would like more.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 170D: Trust and Trustworthiness (PHIL 270D)

An exploration of the place of interpersonal trust in ethical thought. What is it to trust another person? How is trusting related to, though different from, other attitudes we sometimes bear towards others (e.g. justified beliefs we form about others and their conduct; ethically significant expectations we have of others, etc.)? What is involved in acquiring/possessing the virtue of trustworthiness? How should trust (and trustworthiness) figure in our thinking about important ethical activities, for example promising, friendship, or the practice of politics?
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

PHIL 171: Justice (ETHICSOC 171, POLISCI 103, POLISCI 336S, PUBLPOL 103C, PUBLPOL 307)

Focus is on the ideal of a just society, and the place of liberty and equality in it, in light of contemporary theories of justice and political controversies. Topics include financing schools and elections, regulating markets, discriminating against people with disabilities, and enforcing sexual morality. Counts as Writing in the Major for PoliSci majors.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER

PHIL 171P: 20th Century Political Theory: Liberalism and its Critics (POLISCI 130)

In this course, students will learn and engage with the debates that have animated political theory since the early 20th century. What is the proper relationship between the individual, the community, and the state? Are liberty and equality in conflict, and, if so, which should take priority? What does justice mean in a large and diverse modern society? The subtitle of the course, borrowed from a book by Michael Sandel, is "Liberalism and its Critics" because the questions we discuss in this class center on the meaning of, and alternatives to, the liberal idea that the basic goal of society should be the protection of individual rights. Readings will include selections from works by John Rawls, Hannah Arendt, Robert Nozick, Michael Sandel, Iris Marion Young, and Martha Nussbaum. No prior experience with political theory is necessary.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

PHIL 172: History of Modern Moral Philosophy (PHIL 272)

A critical exploration of some of the main forms of systematic moral theorizing in Western philosophy from Hobbes onward and their roots in ancient ethical thought. Prerequistes are some prior familiarity with utilitarianism and Kantian ethics and a demonstrated interest in philosophy.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 172B: Recent Ethical Theory: Moral Obligation (PHIL 272B)

Some moral obligations are "relational," "directional," or "bipolar" in structure: in promising you to act in a certain way, for example, I incur an obligation to you to so act and you acquire a corresponding claim or right against me that I so act. This entails that if I violate my obligation to you, I will not merely be doing something that is morally wrong, but will be wronging you in particular. What does explain this? Do all moral obligations have this structure? We will discuss how different moral theories (consequentialist, deontological, contractualist) try to account for such obligations. Readings include Adams, Anscombe, Darwall, Feinberg, Hart, Parfit, Raz, Scanlon, Skorupski, Thompson, Thomson, Wallace, and Wolf.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
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